Barcelona stumbles in Spain, Arsenal wins again in England
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Barcelona gave Real Madrid new hope in the Spanish league title race by stumbling to a draw despite spectacular goals from Lionel Messi and Neymar.
Arsenal kept alive its title chance in the Premier League but still needs Chelsea to stumble. In Germany, Bayern Munich kept up its inevitable charge toward the Bundesliga title while Juventus’ march to the Serie A crown hit an unexpected bump.
Paris Saint-Germain already secured its first title of the season by winning the French League Cup.
Here is a look at the main action around Europe on Saturday:
Barcelona squandered a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 draw at Sevilla, letting Real Madrid pull within two points of the Spanish league leader after easing past Eibar 3-0 with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring his competition-high 38th goal of the season.
Barcelona couldn’t have asked for a better start when Messi curled in a shot for the 14th-minute opener before Neymar left Sevilla goalkeeper Sergio Rico flat-footed with a superb free kick in the 31st. But Ever Banega pulled one back in the 38th, and substitute Kevin Gameiro capped a counterattack with six minutes to play to keep Sevilla undefeated at home in 32 straight games.
In Madrid, Ronaldo’s free kick was followed by strikes from Javier Hernandez and Jese Rodriguez. But even Ronaldo was upstaged by Celta Vigo’s 19-year-old Santi Mina, who found the net four times in a 6-1 demolition of Rayo Vallecano.
Third-place Atletico Madrid also dropped two points at Malaga in a 2-2 draw, three days before the defending league champions host Madrid in the Champions League quarterfinals.
Almeria ended an eight-game winless run by beating fellow struggler Granada 3-0.
Arsenal earned its eighth straight Premier League victory as Aaron Ramsey scored in a 1-0 win at Burnley, putting the Gunners four points behind Chelsea — although Jose Mourinho’s side still has two games in hand.
Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton conceded his first goal at home since Feb. 28 in the 12th minute after Ramsey sent a powerful strike into the top corner.
Chelsea’s plays Queens Park Rangers on Sunday, while Manchester rivals United and City meet in a clash between third and fourth.
The fight against relegation tightened further with bottom-place Leicester winning 3-2 at West Bromwich Albion to go within a point of Burnley and QPR.
Sunderland was thrashed 4-1 at home by Crystal Palace, and Hull went down 2-0 at Southampton. Tottenham slid to seventh with a 1-0 loss to Aston Villa. Swansea drew 1-1 with Everton, while West Ham conceded in stoppage time to draw 1-1 with Stoke.
Parma pulled off the biggest surprise of the season as the crisis-hit club beat runaway leader Juventus 1-0, inflicting what was only the second defeat of the campaign for Massimiliano Allegri’s side.
Jose Mauri scored the only goal of the game on the hour mark, while a string of fine saves from Parma goalkeeper Antonio Mirante also helped Roberto Donadoni’s side to a memorable win.
Parma was declared bankrupt last month and its players have not been paid all season. It is still in last place, 10 points from safety, with nine matches remaining.
Juventus, which hosts Monaco in the Champions League on Tuesday, has a 14-point lead over Roma, which visits Torino on Sunday.
Inter Milan won 3-0 at Hellas Verona to move provisionally level with city rival AC Milan, while Genoa beat relegation-threatened Cagliari 2-0.
Robert Lewandowski scored twice as Bayern Munich moved a step closer to the Bundesliga title with a 3-0 win against Eintracht Frankfurt, while his former club Borussia Dortmund slumped to a 3-1 defeat at Borussia Moenchengladbach.
Poor defending cost Dortmund dearly in Moenchengladbach, where Oscar Wendt scored in the first minute before Raffael and Havard Nordtveit made it 3-0. Ilkay Gundogan scored Dortmund’s consolation in the 77th.
Bayer Leverkusen stayed two points behind ’Gladbach with a 3-2 win at Mainz, Paderborn boosted its chances of avoiding relegation with a 2-1 win at home over Augsburg, and Schalke was booed by its own fans after being held to a 0-0 draw by relegation-threatened Freiburg.
Hamburger SV is closer to demotion after losing 2-0 to second place Wolfsburg.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic and substitute Edinson Cavani both scored twice as Paris Saint-Germain retained the League Cup with a 4-0 win over 10-man Bastia.
Ibrahimovic opened the scoring from the penalty spot after Sebastien Squillaci was sent off in the 20th. He then doubled the lead just before halftime.
Cavani added more gloss to the win in the closing stages of the match with a header and a finish after a counterattack.
PSG is chasing an unprecedented quadruple, as Laurent Blanc’s side also made it to the French Cup final and leads the French league standings. It plays Barcelona in the Champions League quarterfinals.